Irish beef stew with Guinness stout
Food + Drink

How to Make Irish Beef Stew with Guinness Stout

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by making this Irish favorite starring beef, bacon and 16 ounces of beer.

During Ireland’s economic hardships of the 1800s, it was easy for poor families to survive by making stew in a heavy pot over an open flame. Mutton was generally used for the stew meat, after sheep reached the end of their usefulness for milk and wool, but it was tough and required a long stewing time. The stew’s only other ingredients were potatoes, onions and meat trimmings for added flavor. Today’s Irish stew is typically made with beef and the addition of carrots, celery and parsnips. While traditional Irish stew is not made with Guinness, the beer gives it a full, rich flavor. Be sure to thoroughly brown the beef and leave the brown bits in the bottom of the pan, then deglaze the pan with Guinness. Also, be sure to serve the stew with Irish soda bread and butter.  

Susan Vander Maas is the owner of Doc’s Deli in Mansfield. 

Irish Beef Stew with Guinness Stout | Serves 6 to 8

6 ounces bacon, diced
2 pounds beef chuck
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 medium-large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium yellow Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
2 large carrots, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes 
1 large parsnip, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes
16 ounces Guinness stout
1 cup strong beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the beef across the grain into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper and the flour and toss to coat the pieces. Set aside. Fry bacon in a heavy pot until done, then remove it with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.

Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pieces, generously brown the beef on all sides. Transfer cooked beef to a plate and repeat with remaining beef. Remove beef from the pan then add the onions and fry them, adding more oil if necessary, until lightly browned (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the Guinness and bring it to a rapid boil, deglazing the bottom of the pot. Boil for 2 minutes. Then add the broth, paste and Worcestershire sauce.

Return the beef and bacon to the pot and stir to combine. (At this point, you can transfer everything to a slow cooker if you prefer. Follow the remaining steps and then cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.)

Bring stew to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.